Harrowing new details have emerged about Peter Berg’s first night at the Renny Harlin Correctional Institute where he’s been locked up since being sentenced to Director Jail for his critical and boxoffice failure “Battleship.” Among the abuses Berg has had to endure include being traded to fellow inmate Joel Schumacher, then forced to repeatedly watch Schumacher’s “The Phantom of the Opera.”
According to several inmates, Schumacher traded one of his most prized possessions — an autographed cast album from the original Broadway production of “Dreamgirls” — in exchange for Berg. Shortly after, the abuse started when Schumacher forced Berg to endure one of his classic bombs.
“You could hear Peter screaming ‘Please, stop! I can’t take it anymore,’ from the other side of the prison,” said fellow inmate Rob Reiner, who was sentenced to 20 years after directing 2010’s “Flipped.” “Having tried to watch ‘Phantom of the Opera’ once, I knew what he was going through.”
Upon arriving at Director Jail, Berg, who is a diehard football fan since directing 2004’s “Friday Night Lights,” was excited to learn he would be sharing a cell with Tom Brady. But his enthusiasm quickly vanished when he discovered his cellmate wasn’t New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, but rather director Tom Brady, who is serving eight consecutive life terms for helming last year’s “Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star.”
According to eyewitnesses, Berg decided he should establish his toughness right away before someone tried to “punk him out.” Berg immediately went after the biggest inmate he could find — six-foot-two director Harold Ramis, who is serving time for his 2009 comedy, “Year One.”
Unfortunately, Berg’s plan backfired: As he was assaulting Ramis, Berg gained the attention of the facility’s most notorious inmate, Joel Schumacher.
Schumacher is considered one of Director Jail’s most legendary residents since his daring escape after he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for directing 1997’s “Batman & Robin.”
Schumacher’s escape garnered national attention, as the wildly unpredictable filmmaker avoided capture for over a decade as he continued his cinematic crime spree which included the films “Bad Company,” “The Number 23,” “Blood Creek,” “Twelve” and 2011’s “Trespass.”
After Schumacher was finally apprehended earlier this year, he was returned to the Renny Harlin Correctional Institute, where, according to inmates Bobby and Peter Farrelly, he now runs the show.
In addition to forcing Berg to repeatedly watch “The Phantom of the Opera,” Schumacher has been making him play the Hasbro boardgame “Battleship” in the prison yard, just to remind Berg why he went to director jail in the first place.
Several prisoner rights organizations throughout the country said they would immediately launch full-scale investigations into the abuses occurring at Director Jail.